Denis Diderot: Le Neveu de Rameau [Rameau's Nephew]

(2007 words)
  • David J. Adams (University of Manchester)

Le Neveu de Rameau is perhaps the most perplexing work to have come from the pen of Denis Diderot (q.v.). Even the history of its publication is curious. From internal evidence, it was probably written between 1761 and 1772. So far as is known, however, Diderot did not refer to it in his letters or other writings, and no contemporary author mentions it. This is surprising, for a number of manuscript copies were produced before the end of the eighteenth century. The first printed edition appeared in 1805, not in French, but in a superb, annotated German translation by no less a figure than Goethe, though the manuscript which he used subsequently disappeared. This German version was retranslated into French by two somewhat …

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Adams, David J.. "Le Neveu de Rameau". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 August 2004
[, accessed 13 October 2015.]